Monday, October 18, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
HEAVY RAIN - PS3
Developed by: Quantic Dream
Written and Directed by: David Cage
How far would you go to protect the one you love?
That is the over arching theme through all the characters, and the developers here have crafted a great murder mystery that will have you guessing until the very end. It's easy to be empathetic to all the characters here, and one truly feels the weight of choices made. This is the games biggest feature, the choices and outcomes are a sight to be seen. Heavy Rain is a masterfully crafted ride and it does feel like the situations that transpire could really happen to anyone. It's a rare and unique experience that gamers do not get to experience.
Heavy Rain plays like an adventure game where the player has direct control over the character in the inviroment, controlling the movement is a bit hard to get used to and often I found myself walking in circles. The quick time events are indeed intense, and the actions you preform work brilliantly in referrence to the action you are making on screen. The puzzle elements weren't that hard to figure out, but challenging and engaging enough to feel satisfied and smart. Heavy Rain isn't terribly long, I completed my first play through in roughly 12 hours, but the replay value is here, and I do see myself playing through this game at least 1 or 2 more times just to see the different outcomes.
Here is where some of the issues come up, the voice acting is barely passable with certain characters, yet others are acted superbly and very believable. It seems that they had a mixed cast with some european and some american. Well, take the kids for example they do not sound in the least bit american. So it does break the spell a little bit, but nothing severe. The score is subtle and beautiful but surprisingly short, it seems like they only used a few tracks throughout the game, but they're placed perfectly helping set the mood and tension.
The location where this game takes place isn't ever identified but it seems it is somewhere in the US, but to be honest I never really felt like it was in the states, there is a alienating feeling and I think that helps bring the player closer to the characters, and what is going on in their lives. The developers have really out done themselves with the character modelling and just the extremely life like movement, there were certain parts in the game where it really is hard to tell you are looking at a game character and not real people. Everything from facial movements to body movements you feel what these characters feel.
It's hard to say anything about Heavy Rain without giving away any spoilers, but HR's story is great don't listen to everyone else saying it's mediocre, this isn't a movie or CSI or some afternoon drama, it's up to you how it unfolds, you make the choices and you feel the weight of the consequences. It packs a great punch and I knew based on my choices why I got the ending I got, now I just want to go back and change things just to see the other possibilies..
Heavy Rain left a very heavy and dreary impression on me, one which I've been thinking about ever sense I finished it. So, if you are a gamer and you enjoy a mature well paced noir style story you will love this game. It is unlike anything else out there aside from it's predicessor Indigo Prophecy, also developed by Quantic Dream. Heavy Rain has set a new bench mark in gaming, and I hope people will support this title and go pick it up. I know Feb - March is insane with releases but if you have the time and money it is well worth it.
Peace and Love,
Ps. Next I'll be working on my review for Dragon Quest V: Hands of the Heavenly Bride, stay tuned..
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Dragon Age: Origins IS the best rpg on the Ps3, and it's what the system needed.. More RPGs!! I finished my first play through a few days ago so it's still fresh in my mind, and what really kept bringing me back to the controller was the epic story and the feeling of personal involvement. I know many have spoken about the choices in this game. Well I feel that is this games best trait. Here you've got a game where I felt like my choices truely do matter and I will definitely be playing this game many more times through just to see how diverse this game is. I played a city elf male warrior, and didn't think twice about re rolling and trying another class. It's was just that compelling to me. Now at the same time my room mate purchased the PC version of the game, and I saw just how much more tactical control he had. I wish I had gotten this for the PC, but my specs aren't nearly up to par. I already had the ps3 anyways. The battle system was aggrivating to say the least at certain moments, but for the most part it worked fine. I would recommend this game to fans of fantasy and old bioware rpg's like baldurs gate and the likes.
Extremely deep story elements and rich history to delve into.. There were parts in this game where I was so wrapped up in the rural dramas going on I had completely forgotten what the main plot of this tale was.. And I consider that a good thing.
DA has some really well developed characters, Morrigan for example, everything about her fascinated me, and the more I found out the more I dug deeper. Each of the characters in the game have personal side quests which I recommend you find. I only did about 3 of them so I will do more in the future play throughs.
Combat in the game plays surprisingly well even though it's on the ps3. At first there were issues with the radial menu, but after 70 hours it becomes second nature. The combat in DA is intense to the point it can become frustrating.. It wasn't ever so frustrating that I couldn't continue, just enough to egg me on to play one more time and try a different strategy.
The art direction in this game was a breath of fresh air. One thing that annoys me to no end is how ugly the characters in western rpgs, here all the models look great! While the graphic engine may seem dated, they utilized it to it's best ability. Good job Bioware.
I purchased all the DLC in this game, and I found it interesting and worth the extra 5 bucks. I'm glad they are making even more which I will definitely support!
The not so goods:
Graphically this game has issues on the ps3, there were certain points in dialogue where there would be no audio for whatever reason, losing chunks of the story.. Other issues were with actual looping of events where they would repeat. I had one friend who said that she had to watch a scene over 4-5 times because it wouldn't stop looping. Finally it stopped and she could continue with the game.. When the battles become large and intense there were issues with frame rate, but it wasn't game breaking at all. I just wish that Bioware would have ironed out these issues prior to release, or even if they patched later like many developers seem to be doing.
This obviously being a port the controller issue is apparent, the definitive version is on the PC, but those without that option the console version is just fine.
At the end of the game there is this deep feeling of accomplishement, and it left me craving more, I can't wait to see where this all leads, and my imagination just runs wild.. I wouldn't spoil anything for anyone, but just take my advice.. If you have the time this game is well worth it. I wouldn't say it's the greatest game of all time, I was just really surprised, and it completely took me away from all the other games I was playing at the time.. And that rarely happens. :)
Fun factor: 5/5
This February will see the release of a new album from mind.in.the.box: "R.E.T.R.O." An homage to the era of the Commodore 64 and 1980s video games, the album will even include a few cover versions of cult classics. mind.in.a.box mastermind Stefan Poiss first locked horns with the C64 when he was just 11 during his first attempts at music making. He had no idea of the classic electronic albums like "Lost Alone", "Dreamweb", and "Crossroads" he was to create later. In a way, "R.E.T.R.O." represents a return to his earliest musical roots through the medium of modern technology. We can't wait to hear the results!
Taken from Gothtronics.com
I am personally very excited about this news, I knew they were working on new stuff. Does this mean they'll be dropping the story book approach and this will not be linked with their previous work? We'll see what happens..
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I saw Zombieland this weekend, and it taught me something.. I don't have it so bad, infact I have it fucking great. Sometimes I try to write things here and it's like.. 'Hmm what can I bitch about' but that is just silly, I mean I have nothing against bitching but it's so much better when it's real and raw. When you really feel it. I'm getting of topic, so this movie is killer, it's about this reclusive loser loner kid who drinks mountain dew and plays World of Warcraft gets his 'reality' shattered and finds out the entire world has been taken over by Zombies. Along the way he runs into other humans and hilarity ensues. So this kid has a list of rules on how to survive Zombieland, certain things like Cardio, keep your cardio up and you can always outrun the zombies, or the double tap, which means always shoot twice, and make sure they're dead. Well my personal favorite was rule number 32: Enjoy the little things, which the kid learned from a wreckless blood loving zombie killer named Talahase (no one went by their given names due to the short expectancy of life and the attachment reasons) which basically revels in the sheer art of killing zombies in unique ways..Or aquiring a Twinkie before it's expiration date. But in my own twisted mind it applies to our reality as well. I enjoy the little things, in my own version of Zombieland, such things like hearing Seth's crazy laughs, or just random singing. Or the way Nadya will suddenly hide and pounce out of corners to attack me, which she's done many times. Or spending the night in just playing RPG's for hours on end, letting myself completely drift of into alternate realities, and burst out laughing at the dialogue. I'm currently 50 hours into SMT: Persona 4 and it's the best SMT game I've played yet. I put 120 hours into SmT: Persona 3 until I completed it, just to give you an idea how insanely dense these games are. I know it sounds extremely dorky, but I love it, these are extremely thought out story lines and plots, with well developed characters that you just can help but love. See? Give me room to talk about it and I could do so forever. Anyways these little things keep me sane.. Keep me going in a sense, making Zombieland a little less of a burden to deal with. Oh and on an end note the movie is worth seeing to, for all of those who care.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Fall is almost here, I can see the leaves changing, and it rained for most of the day. I like how on days like this the clouds become so big and dark. It adds many dimensions to the every day lull. This morning I woke up and Hitchcock had died. He was a dove Nadya and I found on our back porch, I think he must have been attacked by one of the neighbor cats. I was just smoking a cigarette like I usually do, and there he was just sitting at the base of the porch all crippled and sad looking. I was struck with a moral dilemma, and couldn't really decide if I should just leave him there, or take him in and try to revive him. Nadya came out and I showed her, and she instantly brought it food and wanted to help. After that it was an easy decision because obviously we were going to try to help. So, we found a box and made a bed for him, put a dish with bird feed and some water. Honestly for a while there it seemed like he was doing so much better, he was cooing, and sitting up properly, and I actually felt like even though it was so little, I was doing something good. I came up with the name Hitchcock, like in the director of the famous movie about birds. Nadya liked it so it stuck. Yesterday he wasn't doing so well, and so we decided to take him to a animal shelter nearby and see if they could help, but yesterday was Sunday and these places are closed on Sunday. So we were going to take him today, but when I saw him this morning he was laying dead in his makeshift home/box. I honestly felt terrible, because he didn't make it. In a short amount of time, I felt I had a bit of a bond with that little birds life.